Full Court University Gym Gets NEXO Overhaul
NCAA Division II varsity collegiate institution Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) recently upgraded the Fieldhouse sound system with a NEXO GEO S12 line array. Home to the school's full court basketball gym and with assistance from MFI Productions of Hooksett, New Hampshire, the Fieldhouse now boasts a line array system that will provide even and amplified acoustics to the 2,000-seat bleachers and floor seating. New Hampshire's fastest growing college, SNHU has over 4,000 on-campus students and 60,000 online students.
According to Rick Elliot, production manager at MFI who designed and completed the installation, the Fieldhouse 40' ceiling needed a new approach. "We worked with an acoustician to ensure that a GEO S12 loudspeaker system would provide maximum coverage to the floor area and work well with the Fieldhouse multi-use space, used almost as much for sporting events as it is for other campus events, which we took that into account when examining the acoustical treatment plan."
"We've worked with SNHU for several years and wanted to provide them with a highly intelligible sound for the listener and create that same feeling for presentation events," explained Elliot. In anticipation of an upcoming open house, the president of the university invited MFI to demo the NEXO system. "He was extremely pleased with the quality of how his voice sounded. It's very rewarding to know that he placed his faith in us to do the installation. The system is something the campus community will enjoy for decades to come."
The NEXO GEO S12 loudspeaker system was designed to be a main LR system flown at the highest achievable height and 10' in front of a garage door wall that will allow for a stage location for various speaking engagements and musical events as well as to provide maximum coverage to the remaining floor area. NEXO M620 loudspeakers were added to the area directly at the front edge of the stage for better gain before feedback. Elliott said a processor would be installed to handle protection and tuning of the system. "It's important to note that the BSS BLU signal processor that was installed is capable of a simple system program with the addition of some dedicated utility mic inputs and wireless mic systems so that the system can be controlled via a wireless router and an iPad using HiQnet Motion Control."
Improving the audio quality was a high priority for Thomas Helm, manager media services at SNHU. "The distributive system that was installed for basketball games was unusable for public address in formal events like admissions open house, accepted student day, and convocation," Helm said. "When MFI came in and set up a test system using NEXO line arrays, and the SNHU president heard the transformational audio quality, he approved the budget on the spot. Since the NEXO installation, the Fieldhouse has not experienced any audio concerns due to the system's excellent gain, flexibility of microphone placement, and elimination of feedback. The installation provided by MFI was first rate; friendly, and professional all the way."
Two NEXO NX4x4 amplifiers power the system and were chosen just in case a special event requires additional power, as well as offering upgradability to the system, since the 4x4s can easily be reconfigured. The main part of the line array on each side was split to the amp, with channels A&C having two GEO S1210 loudspeakers each and channels B&D having three GEO S1210 loudspeakers each. The GEO S1230s, one per side, are utilizing their own channels A&B on the second NXAmp. The three delayed M620 front fills take up the remaining two channels when needed.
"The NEXO line array has been the best investment my department could have made to eliminate reverberation and dramatically improve acoustics," Helm concluded.
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